Gift Ideas: Choose Music not Malls.

If you like what you’re hearing on Folk Alley, likely so will your friends. Here are several CDs that won’t disappoint. *NOTE: THESE ARE NOT IN ORDER; YOU SHOULD BUY THEM ALL:

1) Tim O’Brien‘s Traveler (Sugar Hill) — A true concept album, all the songs relate, but each is stylistically diferent – very philosphical. Each song is a wake up call.
2) Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot (Borealis) — Fifteen different Canadian artists honor their comrade. It’s respectful, but each song sounds new as well.
3) Natalie MacMasterBlueprint (Rounder) — Cape Breton fiddling with a twist – provided by Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, & Sam Bush.
4) Spain in My Heart: Songs of the Spanish Civil War (Appleseed) — Pete Seeger, Laurie Lewis, and many world artists remember history through song.
5) Kris Delmhorst‘s Songs for a Hurricane (Signature Sounds) — She’ll grow on you or whoever you give this to. Lots of variety and style.
6) Ian Anderson‘s Rupi’s Dance (Fuel) — Yes, he’s the voice of Jethro Tull, but this doesn’t rock – it sings. It’s all acoustic, wry, and lively.
7) Dave Mallet‘s Artist in Me (North Road) — If you want to share peace and comfort don’t hesitate to share Dave Mallet. It’s his best in years.
8) Robinella & the CC Stringband – Buy any CD you can find – They have 2 on their own label (Big Gulley) and one on the bigs (Columbia). It’s country roots and arranged jazz; Robinella is like Blossom Dearie and Iris Dement combined.
9) SolasAnother Day (Shanachie) — Contemporary Celtic music. If you know someone that thinks they don’t like Irish music – insist that they listen to this. No cliches here, and this CD is far more inviting than the last one.
10) SEEDS – The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol. 3 (Appleseed) — Pete sings on CD 1; CD 2 features Janis Ian, John McCutcheon, Natalie Merchant, and others.
11) Guy DavisChocolate to the Bone (Red House) — Acoustic blues with power and with messages – no trite complaining about heartaches here.
12) John Gorka‘s Old Futures Gone (Red House) — Give this man time to think and you’ll completely re-think your own life after hearing this.
13) Rodney Crowell‘s Fate’s Right Hand (DMZ/Epic) — From a remarkable experience gained trying to feed the homeless to a message about suicide, this album is serious, but far from glum. In fact, it’s joyful in its contemplation.
14) Greg Brown, Garnet Rogers, Karen Savoca – Live at the Black Sheep (Alcove) — One night at a pub in a small town in Quebec. Three different lead singers who enjoy each other and it shows.

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